Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Ha, ha.
Actually that with the Huns was self-inflicted!
Following the repression of the Boxer Rebellion in China, Kaiser Wilhelm II gave the infamous "Hun Speech" (1900), which goes like that:
"Just as a thousand years ago the Huns under their King Attila made a name for themselves, one that even today makes them seem mighty in history and legend, may the name German be affirmed by you in such a way in China that no Chinese will ever again dare to look cross-eyed at a German."

"Eurozone leaders have turned a 50bn Greek solvency problem into a 1,000bn existential crisis for the European Union." David Miliband
by Kostis Papadimitriou on Tue Jun 21st, 2011 at 11:10:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Checking, he actually told it before the repression of the Boxer Rebellion (to the German troop contingent in the expedition army from Europe when they shipped out). One thing to note is the all too common circumstance that the Kaiser called for barbarism to teach barbarians (who were killing Europeans at the time, including a minister of Germany) a lesson; e.g. a fuller quote:

A great task awaits you: you are to revenge the grievous injustice that has been done. The Chinese have overturned the law of nations; they have mocked the sacredness of the envoy, the duties of hospitality in a way unheard of in world history. It is all the more outrageous that this crime has been committed by a nation that takes pride in its ancient culture. Show the old Prussian virtue. Present yourselves as Christians in the cheerful endurance of suffering. May honor and glory follow your banners and arms. Give the whole world an example of manliness and discipline.

You know full well that you are to fight against a cunning, brave, well-armed, and cruel enemy. Should you encounter the enemy, he will be defeated! No quarter will be given! Prisoners will not be taken! Whoever falls into your hands is forfeited. Just as a thousand years ago the Huns under their King Attila made a name for themselves, one that even today makes them seem mighty in history and legend, may the name German be affirmed by you in such a way in China that no Chinese will ever again dare to look cross-eyed at a German. Maintain discipline. May God's blessing be with you, the prayers of an entire nation and my good wishes go with you, each and every one. Open the way to civilization once and for all! Now you may depart! Farewell, comrades!

The other, more on point thing to note is that when Britain adapted this for WWI propaganda, it was conveniently forgotten that Britain and all its WWI allies were Germany's allies in this White Man's Revenge, in fact their troops from nearby colonies were busy raping and pillaging Beijing in line with Wilhelms speech before the troops from Europe reached China.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jun 22nd, 2011 at 04:15:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series